Apr 17, 2014
07:49 AMArts & Entertainment
Jeff Koons, Tommy Hilfiger, Connecticut Couple Craft ‘Fabergé’ Eggs for Hunt
Pilar Proffitt, a Salisbury artist and designer, created this egg within an egg for the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt.
Each Easter Tsar Nicholas II would present his beloved wife, Alexandra, with an impressive bauble. Jewel and gold encrusted, whimsically designed, they were the exquisite “eggs” create by Peter Carl Fabergé.
The tradition of the imperial Fabergé eggs died with the Romanovs in 1917 but the Fabergé trademark has been sold several times since and several companies have retailed egg-related merchandise using the name. The trademark is now owned by Fabergé Limited, which makes egg-themed jewelry and which is currently sponsoring the Faberge Big Egg Hunt in New York City.
The event, first staged to wild success in 2012 in London, is 100 percent charitable, raising money for children in New York City through Studio in a School, and conservation efforts through Elephant Family, saving the endangered Asian elephant and its habitat. There are a total of 283 “eggs” currently on display in the city that will be sold in an April 26 auction held by Sotheby’s and online via Paddle8. (Left, Pilar Proffitt and Rob Bristow in a photo from a Trinity College post about their design work.)
Among the lots is an egg designed by Pilar Proffitt and Rob Bristow of Lakeville, the husband-and-wife duo of Poesis Design.
Ms. Proffitt, the primary designer of the egg, said Fabergé asked the couple if they would participate in the fundraiser “and we said, ‘Sure,’” she reported.
“We had the option of working with a mold or creating our own,” she reported. “We were one of the few artists who produced our own. At first, I thought it would be cute if we did two separate eggs, but Rob was really busy. It was kind of crazy and the egg was finally done at the last minute.”
The Poesis Egg, envisioned to be two eggs “speaking” to one another, is composed of two elements, one sheltering the other. At the center is a delicate, blue-hued, hand-blown egg, 9 inches tall, perched on its end and encircled by a larger, three-foot-tall network of brass bands. The entire piece stands on an ebonized chunk of pine wood measuring 15-by-15-by-30 inches. The complete assembly is over 5 feet tall. (Above right, All-Ways New York by Benjamine Shine from the Paddle auction website.)
Of the design Ms. Proffitt says, “I felt the glass piece alone was too vulnerable–sort of a womb-less egg–and in need of protection, but at the same time I didn’t want something so encompassing as to hide it. That’s how we came up with the labyrinth of shooting brass members.”
She added, “I see our egg as a reflection of life’s true balance–small and larger; infant and protector; fragility and strength.”
“In all honesty, when we started I didn’t realize the scale of what we were involved in,” confessed Ms. Proffitt. “As we moved forward, I realized this is a big deal. The artists and designers involved [including such globally renowned artists and designers as Jeff Koons, Tommy Hilfiger and Diane von Furstenberg, among others] are interesting people. It’s not bad company to be in.”
(Below, a London scene from the website for the Big Egg Hunt.)